God’s Will and the Showcase Showdown

I stopped watching The Price is Right when Bob Barker retired. And when I say ‘stopped watching The Price is Right’, I mean ‘cried hysterically’. Bob Barker was an icon, and my friend. We spent many mid-mornings together. I would eat Cheerios and he would host. Together we experienced perfect bids, $1 dollar spins on the wheel, and overly enthusiastic Plinko games. When he retired it was like the end of an era, for both of us. He was moving on to golf courses and old people activities, and I had to get a job and stop eating Cheerios at 11 am. But I take comfort in knowing that we’ll meet someday, in this life or in the next. Since he’s so old, and because I’m afraid of airplanes, our meeting will most likely have to take place in heaven. I hope he believes in Jesus, and if not, I hope #lovewins.

There’s something about name tags that make people crazy. I’m not sure if it’s the permanent marker, or the adhesive being so close to the heart, but name tags change us. They make us into crazy people who know exactly how much a bar of soap costs. Let me give you an example; the entire Price is Right audience wears name tags – and the entire Price is Right audience is absolutely insane. This group of otherwise normal adults, some of whom may even be accountants, turns into a group of middle schoolers on some sort of extremely exciting field trip. Instead of sitting, they stand. Instead of walking, they run and jump. Instead of using normal words, they use wild, incoherent shouts of joy. And instead of finding a young man attractive, they drool over a frail, creepy, well-dressed old man with a skinny microphone. Once that adhesive hits the heart, people change.

It’s tough to pick out one aspect of The Price is Right as my favorite. But since you’re pressuring me to choose, I’d have to go with the Showcase Showdown. First of all, the name is spectacular. Showcase and Showdown are two words that are meant to be together. It sounds like there’s a chance a gun fight could break out. And the prizes are over the top in the Showcase Showdown. There are hot tubs, cars, exercise bikes, flat-screen televisions, lavish vacations and inevitably – one camper. I mean we’re talking about thousands and thousands of dollars here. This part of the show isn’t simply about necklaces and home gyms, it’s about necklaces and home gyms put together into one package – with a camper.

While all of those things are great, the real reason for my affection towards the Showcase Showdown is the bidding drama. See, when Bob Barker invented the show shortly after the Civil War, he decided that the contestants needed some options in the Showcase Showdown. In case you’re not familiar (shame on you) with the show, here’s how it works: a showcase is presented to the top winner, who then can either bid on the showcase, or pass it to the next contestant, who won a blender earlier in the show. It’s brilliant really. Dirt bikes and a trip to Paris not your thing? Ok, no problem, just pass it over to Sally, who happens to speak French and is wearing a shirt that says, “I’m in love with dirt bikes.” You’re a genius Bob, and Jesus loves you.

God’s will is confusing to me. Give me a break, that was the most natural transition I could think of. But let’s be honest, it’s kind of confusing. Is it some sort of plan that He’s got for me? And if so, how do I know if I’m even in it? Should I accept this new job? Move to this city? Marry this girl? I mean, how do we know where God wants us if He keeps the map up in Heaven, all to Himself. It just seems like it would be less confusing for everyone involved if God would reveal this master plan to us. It seems like life would be easier if we just knew some things ahead of time, so we could be sure. Sometimes it seems like God needs to take a page out of Bob Barker’s book and give us some options.

Sometimes when I’m having trouble with this concept of God’s will, I think about the Showcase Showdown. I wonder what would happen if a God in an evening gown and manicured nails laid out every event in my life before me. What if He showed me what He really wanted for me and for my life. And when I think about it, I don’t picture Jeeps and hot tubs and trips, I picture tough decisions, scary situations, a life of service.

So maybe God’s will isn’t some magical map in heaven that He likes to keep to Himself. Maybe it’s not a beautiful showcase that tells us which house we’ll live in next year. And if it was, and He laid it all out for us, we’d probably just pass it to the next guy, hoping that God would show us an even better showcase, maybe one with Jet Skis. What I believe about God’s will is that it’s a journey. It’s a daily walk with a God who lives inside of us. And this journey has less to do with which city we’ll live in and what kind of car we’ll drive, and more to do with surrender and humility and trust. Everyday, we have the opportunity to be in the center of His will, simply by choosing to let Him lead our lives, our decisions, our thoughts. And that kind of life is a life full of freedom, a life we don’t want to pass up.

Also, help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.

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Categories: I Digress

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